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Margaret Thatcher

The Belgrano, The Troubles, The Miners' Strike and the lady who wasn't for turning - a round-up of Thatcher in the media

By Angela Haggerty, Reporter

April 8, 2013 | 7 min read

As reaction continues to flow from around the world upon the death of 87-year-old Baroness Thatcher, The Drum takes a look at some of the former prime minister's most memorable media moments and quotes, along with a round-up of the global response to the news.

One of Baroness Thatcher most famous interviews was on the current affairs television programme, Nationwide, by teacher Diane Gould over the controversial sinking of the Argentinian ship General Belgrano . More than 300 people died after a British submarine sank the warship as it sailed away from the conflict zone during the 1982 Falklands War.

One of Baroness Thatcher's decisions during The Troubles in Northern Ireland was a broadcast ban on the words of terrorists or terrorist sympathisers, passed in 1988. Thatcher's reasoning was to "deny terrorists the oxygen of publicity", resulting in a series of interviews with high profile figures, including Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, dubbed by an actor. The ban was lifted in 1994.

The famous Iron Lady speech on Thatcher's opposition to communism - delivered to the Finchley Conservatives in January 1976 - led to the nickname being coined for her by the Soviets.

Margaret Thatcher speaks on the 258th day of the miners' strike, one of the many landmark incidents during her tenure as prime minister.Thatcher in quotes"To those waiting with bated breath for that favourite media catchphrase, the U-turn, I have only one thing to say. You turn if you want to. The lady's not for turning." - 1980"They are casting their problems at society. And, you know, there's no such thing as society. There are individual men and women and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look after themselves first. It is our duty to look after ourselves and then, also, to look after our neighbours." - 1987"It was a lovely morning. We have not had many lovely days. And the sun was just coming through the stained glass windows and falling on some flowers right across the church and it just occurred to me that this was the day I was meant not to see." - Speaking after an IRA assassination attempt in Brighton in 1984"We must try to find ways to starve the terrorist and the hijacker of the oxygen of publicity on which they depend." - 1985"A world without nuclear weapons may be a dream but you cannot base a sure defence on dreams. Without far greater trust and confidence between East and West than exists at present, a world without nuclear weapons would be less stable and more dangerous for all of us." - 1987"They're casting their problem on society. And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It's our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour. People have got the entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations, because there is no such thing as an entitlement unless someone has first met an obligation." - 1987"The freedom of peoples depends fundamentally on the rule of law, a fair legal system. The place to have trials or accusations is a court of law, the Common Law that has come right up from Magna Carta, which has come right up through the British courts—a court of law is the place where you deal with these matters. If you ever get trial by television or guilt by accusation, that day freedom dies because you have not had it done with all of the careful rules that have developed in a court of law. Press and television rely on freedom. Those who rely on freedom must uphold the rule of law and have a duty and a responsibility to do so and not try to substitute their own system for it." - 1988"No-one would remember the Good Samaritan if he'd only had good intentions; he had money as well." - 1980"Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people's money. It's quite a characteristic of them." - 1976"I believe that the royal family are a focus of patriotism, of loyalty, of affection and of esteem. That is a rare combination, and we should value it highly." - 1990 Global reaction"With the passing of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, the world has lost one of the great champions of freedom and liberty, and America has lost a true friend. As a grocer’s daughter who rose to become Britain’s first female prime minister, she stands as an example to our daughters that there is no glass ceiling that can’t be shattered. As prime minister, she helped restore the confidence and pride that has always been the hallmark of Britain at its best. And as an unapologetic supporter of our transatlantic alliance, she knew that with strength and resolve we could win the Cold War and extend freedom’s promise." - US president Barack Obama"Freedom of the individual was at the centre of her beliefs. Margaret Thatcher was quick to recognize the power of the freedom movements in Eastern Europe and stood up for them. I will never forget her role in overcoming the division of Europe and the end of the Cold War." - German chancellor Angela Merkel"As a person she was kind and generous spirited and was always immensely supportive to me as Prime Minister although we came from opposite sides of politics. Even if you disagreed with her as I did on certain issues and occasionally strongly, you could not disrespect her character or her contribution to Britain’s national life. She will be sadly missed." - Former British prime minister Tony Blair"We respect the dead. We are a very forgiving people. I am giving you a political overview. Her Irish policy was total and absolute failure." - Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams"It’s unfortunate that she chose to be on the wrong side of history, but that’s why we say it was her views, they did not permeate broader society in Britain, where we had one of the strongest anti-apartheid movements She may not have accepted us, but she was forced to acknowledge us." - African National Congress (ANC) spokesman Keith Khoza"Prime Minister Thatcher is a great example of strength and character, and a great ally who strengthened the special relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States. Laura and I join the people of Great Britain in remembering the life and leadership of this strong woman and friend." - Former US president George W Bush"She will be remembered as a unique figure. She reshaped the politics of a whole generation. She was Britain’s first woman prime minister. She moved the centre ground of British politics and was a huge figure on the world stage. The Labour Party disagreed with much of what she did and she will always remain a controversial figure. But we can disagree and also greatly respect her political achievements and her personal strength." - Labour party leader Ed Miliband
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